The racial wealth gap continues to impede our nation’s ability to remain a true leader and innovator on the world stage. The wealth ratio is 20:1 between African-Americans and whites, and 18:1 between Hispanics and whites. Join us July 29th as leaders in government and industry discuss the policies and societal issues that continue to impact this disparity, as well as solutions to bridging the wealth gap.

*The entire image below links to MMTC’s conference website. Click here for a PDF version. [click to continue…]

The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council presents its Investors Forum: “Creative Capital and the Latest Developments in Angel Investing, Venture Capital, Crowdfunding, Vendor Financing, and Audience Aggregation” on Day 2 of its 12th Annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference!

Are you an entrepreneur looking for investment capital to start or expand your business? Join industry representatives and experts as they discuss where investors are putting their money, what’s driving M&A activity, and where the opportunities are for MWBEs who seek to step up their game, or get in the game! [click to continue…]

Child Hand ComputerWASHINGTON, D.C. (July 14, 2014): Last week, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve reforms to the nation’s E-rate program with subsidies now going toward Wi-fi connectivity to ensure broadband access in schools. The Order also addressed the concerns around the current funding formulas for schools and libraries with Chairman Wheeler vowing to review and re-evaluate these thresholds to ensure their accuracy.

MMTC and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition have worked collaboratively on issues that affect the nation’s schools, particularly those institutions that disproportionately serve students of color, and poor and urban populations. Friday’s vote to proceed with significant reforms to a program that has the ability to narrow the resource gaps that exist between poor and wealthy schools is a positive step toward addressing pressing achievement divides. MMTC and Rainbow PUSH applaud the Commission’s increase in the per-square-foot funding for libraries that will particularly benefit smaller, urban libraries. [click to continue…]

MMTC’s 12th Annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference attracts some of the biggest names in media, telecom, government, business, and investing.  At this year’s Awards Reception at the close of Day 1, “Celebrating Diverse Media Superstars,” we are pleased to add some of the biggest leaders in the entertainment industry to that list!

Join BET Chairman and CEO Debra Lee, Radio One President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-KS), FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Former FCC Commissioner Tyrone Brown, and more as we present our highest honors to those who have made exceptional contributions to diversity and inclusion in the media and telecom industries.  MMTC will also pay a special tribute to renowned venture capitalist and entrepreneur, the late Herbert P. Wilkins, Sr.

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On July 7th, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council and Rainbow PUSH Coalition filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission, urging the agency to amend its E-rate program to improve support for schools and libraries in urban and low-income areas, which is currently limited by restrictions based on square-footage and per-student funding caps.

African American Computer StudentsDear Chairman Wheeler:

The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition (collectively “MMTC et al.”) respectfully urge the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to avoid providing E-rate support for libraries in urban and low-income areas based on their square footage, and avoid penalizing urban and low-income schools that have lower enrollment than larger, more affluent suburban campuses by imposing across-the-board per-student funding caps. MMTC et al. have previously expressed their conviction that the FCC should make equitable access to E-rate funds for low-income schools a priority in its policy-making,[1] noting that the E-rate program “was specifically designed to target poor schools and rural schools.”[2]

The cost of providing internal broadband connectivity is a function of both building size and the number of users, as well as other factors such as architectural impediments and interference from nearby networks. The FCC should therefore resist the temptation to adopt a flawed and overly simplistic metric for allocating E-rate funds that will arbitrarily deprive urban and low-income students and library patrons of access to high speed, high capacity broadband. [click to continue…]

The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) will kick off our 12th Annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference, “Spotlight on Opportunity, Innovation, and Inclusion in the New Digital Ecosystem,” by bringing together six current members of Congress, two former members of Congress, and a state representative to discuss access to capital, STEM, and How Telecom Policies Stimulate or Stifle MWBE Opportunity.

 

 

Congressional and Legislative Luncheon

Looking Back and Looking Forward:

How Telecom Policies Stimulate or Stifle MWBE Opportunity

July 28, 2014, 12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

 

Hon. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Member, U.S. House of Representatives

Hon. John Conyers (D-MI), Member, U.S. House of Representatives

Hilary Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau, NAACP

Hon. Clifford Stearns, Congressman Emeritus (R-FL), Co-Chair, New Telecom and Internet Policy Taskforce

Hon. Edolphus Towns, Congressman Emeritus (D-NY), Co-Chair, Telecom and Internet Policy Taskforce

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On July 28th and 29th, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council presents its 12th annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference, “Spotlight on Opportunity, Innovation, and Inclusion in the New Digital Ecosystem.” The conference will convene hundreds of media and telecom industry experts, policymakers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors to highlight the most far-reaching issues affecting multicultural entrepreneurs and underserved communities.

 

FCC Commissioners’ Breakfast Highlights

FCC and White House officials discuss opportunities and barriers in telehealth, super fast broadband, the Internet of things, and technology adoption in underserved communities: [click to continue…]

On June 20, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council filed the following letter with the Federal Communications Commission regarding the selling of three broadcast stations from Nexstar Broadcasting Group to minority-owned Marshall Broadcasting Group.

To the Commission:

For the reasons set forth in comments submitted by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB),[1] the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) supports the attribution rule waiver request for the Marshall-Nexstar proposed joint sales agreement (JSA).

MMTC supports this waiver to allow Marshall an opportunity to develop into a free-standing station, especially given that Nexstar does not have the option to acquire the station from Marshall. The specific facts of this case, particularly the fact that Nexstar will not be acquiring the station or the tangible assets of the station, provide the Commission with an opportunity to establish guidelines to inform parties seeking future waivers of the rule. [click to continue…]

On June 17, MMTC’s Vice President and Chief Research & Policy Officer, Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, discussed the digital divide at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s “Digital Readiness: Rethinking the Digital Divide” panel.

ITIF gathered a panel of experts to discuss John Horrigan’s recent work on digital readiness and broadband adoption. Horrigan’s report, presents data from a national survey on broadband adoption and access, with an eye towards users’ general readiness to use broadband and other new technologies.

The report calls for a rethinking of term “digital divide,” favoring a measurement of digital readiness instead of adoption/access and indicates that next generation of technologies will face difficulties due to low levels of digital readiness. The report also invites advocates for complementary investments in digital readiness to smooth adoption of new applications. [click to continue…]

Last week, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it is selling three Fox affiliates to minority-owned Marshall Broadcasting Group. The National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) has voiced support of the transaction, with some reservations pending FCC oversight into the deal. MMTC President David Honig echoes NABOB’s sentiments: 

“This transaction could be a promising development for minority ownership in media, an issue MMTC has long supported,” Honig stated. “Marshall Broadcasting Group will have full control of the programming on the stations, which brings with it the possibility of expanding the diversity of information available to the public.”

NABOB’s full statement is below:

June 9, 2014 – The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) is pleased to see the announced acquisition of three television stations by Marshall Broadcasting Group (MBG) in a Joint Sales Agreement (JSA) transaction with Nexstar Broadcasting. In the transaction, MBG will acquire stations in Odessa, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana, and Davenport, Iowa. For the deal to be completed, the Federal Communications Commission must grant MBG and Nexstar a waiver of its new rule, which treats JSAs as attributable. [click to continue…]